It’s not often you get a publication completely funded by the artists and writers who contribute to it, a kind of DIY communal zine that’s fully independent and with a freewheelin’ editorial process. But that’s what quarterly publication Bare Bones is, an entirely grassroots effort whose content is driven by the casual desires and ideas of its contributors. Matt Lambert, Video Editor for the paper, says, “It started out as a quarterly art newspaper from illustrators Harry Malt and Chris Bianchi as an off shoot of Le Gun magazine. Loose and freeform in style, it was all about illustration”.
Each time they publish a new issue, they also launch exhibitions and events to coincide with it. For their last two launches, along with the free paper, interactive installations, VJ battles, and art works, they also released a series of short films, produced by a range of young filmmakers and illustrators. They’re due to realise their third round at Bare Bones 6 this Friday in London. Before they do, they kindly gave us an exclusive to host the online premiere of the films from round two. The filmmakers include David Wilson, AG Rojas, Champagne Valentine, Julia Pott, Radical Friend, Sam Mason, Hayley Morris, Ryan Rothermel, and Matt Lambert.
“At the newspaper we’re all into similar kinds of things, we all come from a punk rock background and are into an eclectic bunch of stuff—but we’re all coming from the same place,” says Lambert. “The way we choose the filmmakers is pretty casual, usually it’s people I’ve met from traveling around—LA, Berlin, London—people who are like-minded.”
The vastly different styles represented in the experimental shorts are a result of the paper’s freeform philosophy, affording the filmmakers the creative freedom to do whatever they want. “When we ask people to make a short film it can be any style—animation, mixed media—we just want it to be about a minute long, low brow, lo-fi, trust your instinct. Lots of us do commercial work, so doing something like this, unconventional and open, not even doing an edit but just trusting yourself, it’s refreshing and liberating. We also like to include a mix of filmmakers from different age ranges, we’ve featured a 19-year-old kid before, so shown together they elevate each other. Along with getting the work out there and, through the collaboration, creating something bigger and better than what they could do on their own. And also having fun.”
Their accidental editorial method is a very punk model but it seems to work. “It’s about trusting the people and being intuitive. Allowing for creative freedom and hoping they’ll know the vibe. We like doing weird, messed-up DIY stuff and people seem to get it. It’s nice to give people the opportunity to do something a bit different, something purely expressive.”
You can check out volume one here.